The Daily Rail: Avoid Coffee Cup Controversy

Monday, November 7, 2016


Today's Specials:



READ: Review Server Credit Card Slips for Accuracy [Hack #074]

Sometimes it's just a mistake; other times it's nefarious. But servers altering credit card slips can be a real problem for some restaurants. Here's how to eliminate the issue.


READ: Five Ways Hosting Events Can Take Your Restaurant to the Next Level

Not in the special events industry? You're missing out. Here are five big reasons why you should be hosting regular events at your bar or restaurant.






Check presentation is a pivotal moment in the service cycle.  Check out how this Mumbai India restaurant delivers their guest checks. Now that is a best practice. Yes, that is spun sugar foliage on the branches. Maybe you can make it as special in your restaurant.


Nope, not the World Series, the Cubs took care of that last. Now that the dust has settled, we can congratulate Cleveland on their ascension atop the most inauspicious title in sports…The Longest Time Since Last Championship Record Holder. Yes, that was a mouthful and as a degenerate Red Sox fan, I’m just so relieved it’s not my team. A hearty welcome to all Cub fans and the rest of you can check out if your team is closing in on Cleveland on the leader board.

Infographic: Cleveland Inherits World Series Drought Crown | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista






Why it matters to you: Do your signature items need a tweak?

McDonald’s announced this week they are fiddling with their flagship BigMac sandwich. No, it’s not going to be made of tempeh or served with grass fed north mountain facing cattle stock. Instead, they are now rolling out a limited turn for a Grand Mac and Mac, Jr…you guessed varied sizes. It may not sound like a big deal, but I think the folks over at Coke might disagree. Now this change only means the amount of beef and bread will change, but it is still a really big deal.  The chain claims to have added 10% to their McNugget sales when they announced a change to their recipe.

You have to ask yourself when the last time you looked at your own menu staples. Can you tweak a menu item that is under performing and drive incremental sales that way? Lots of operators have seen that effect. Besides, this a limited run by McD’s so the damage can’t really be too bad if it fails…which is unlikely. People love new twists on existing things and you can learn from McDonald’s. Revisit your best sellers and test them as specials. If it works, you know you have a winner. If it doesn’t back to the drawing board. At least you’ll get to sample lots of great tasting samples.



Why it matters to you: He’s no Anthony Bourdain, but this guy really gets us!

Normally in this space we deliver you newsbytes with a little spin, but today, we want the subject to the talking. Meet Keith McNally, you probably don’t know him, but he’s famous. In this New York Times food blog McNally tells us why he loves and hates the restaurant business. He’s irreverent, “The walls are still to be plastered, but confidence is so high that my only concern is writing an acceptance speech — one that’s appropriately modest — for the James Beard Award that, at this stage, seems inevitable. (I know a shoo-in when I see one.)

If you have been around since the 80’s in the biz you will how well McNally understands your life. Just as with reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, he captures the essence of how we have evolved. He, of course, has it right when he says, “Either way, it’s difficult not to be anything but fully supportive of a system that protects employees from harassment. But, remembering what it was like to be in my 20s, I believe it’s also important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.” This take says it all. We have come so far and it’s ok to realize we learned along the way.



Why it matters to you: Big marketers fail to, just ask Starbucks about their ‘holiday’ cups

When your Starbuck’s you expect to be held to a higher standard, but by even the most generous standards, the response to their annual Holiday Cups makes no sense. So they braced themselves and released this year’s cup with much fanfare…well, sort of! They once again got creamed. Some claimed that the day after Halloween is scandalously early and others who kvetched about the design. It makes sense get that many consumers don’t know why companies like Starbuck’s avoid aligning to a direct Christmas message. The reality is that most people don’t care if they are greeted with Merry Christmas even if they aren’t believers. However, there are still some that are and these companies bank on making every consumer feel welcome.

It’s really a matter of knowing your audience. The bulk of Starbuck’s consumers are ambivalent about their message and just want a cup of coffee. Although; it does to damage in the moment; it is inconsequential in the long term. Is it fair to Starbuck’s? Not really. We however, can always take our cues from their experience. Know your audience and determine how you want to be perceived by them. You’ll get it wrong for some, but you literally can’t please everyone…or so we can see from Starbuck’s.